U.S. MILITARY

CASE STUDY #1

F-16 AN/APG-68 Radar System Modular Low Power Radio Frequency (MLPRF) Line Replaceable Unit (LRU)

  • One of the poorest performing LRUs on the F-16

  • Cracked ribbon cable solder joints

  • Massive re-soldering program implemented

  • Shotgun approach to maintenance

  • No means or equipment to detect intermittence

Results from Intermittent Fault Detection & Isolation System™ (IFDIS™) testing:

  • 400 MLPRF LRU chassis IFDIS tested:

  • 147 were considered "un-repairable" completely out of service

  • 33 had been in the repair depot for over one year

  • 9 had been in the repair depot for over three years

  • 60% had one or more intermittent fault

    • All of these defects were missed by conventional depot Automated Test Equipment (ATE)

  • Cost of a replacement MLPRF LRU chassis is $307,000 each

  • Over $39 million worth of flight hardware recovered to date

  • Tripled Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) - cost savings of $11 million

  • Reduction in Total Ownership Cost (RTOC) of $50 million achieved on one F-16 LRU chassis family

  • Total Government investment $2.2 million - 22 times ROI to date

F-16 Joint Testing Project with the United States Air Force

F-16 Joint Testing Project with the United States Air Force

AN/APG-68 MLPRF

The F-16 AN/APG-68 Radar System Modular Low Power Radio Frequency (MLPRF) chassis was the box with the highest NFF cost of all F-16 avionic boxes.  The boxes that have malfunctioned and/or tested bad in the field usually end up testing NFF at the depot and are subsequently returned to service as fully operational boxes. 

More than $13,000,000.00 in maintenance costs is incurred annually by the U.S. Air Force for just that portion of the F-16 electronic boxes that test NFF at the depot. 

Current day, over 500 MLPRF chassis have been tested by the Intermittent Fault Detection and Isolation System (IFDIS). 

Of the MLPRF chassis tested

  • 137 were considered “un-repairable” - completely out of service

  • 33 had been in the repair depot for over one year

  • 9 had been in the shop for over three years

  • 60% had one or more intermittent faults

These defects were all missed by conventional depot Automated Test Equipment (ATE).

Cost of each MLPRF LRU chassis is $307,000.

Over $42 million dollars worth of flight hardware recovered.

Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) increase from 289 hours to 926 hours, an additional cost saving of $20 million dollars annually.

$62 million dollar Reduction in Total Ownership Cost (RTOC) achieved on one LRU chassis family on one aircraft platform.

One of the largest RTOC Return On Investment (ROI) case studies in the history of the program.

Total Government investment $2.2 million dollars, a 28 times ROI has been achieved to date.

The IFDIS diagnosed most of the problems in minutes.  In addition to diagnosing existing intermittent/NFF problems, the IFDIS also caught developing problems resulting in failure avoidance, opening the door for the IFDIS to function as a preventative maintenance tool and final assessment test station before product is sent to the field or flight line. 

There is a testing void; conventional test equipment cannot detect and isolate intermittence.  After testing with the IFDIS for these long overlooked defects, the actual repair and refurbishment of these boxes was minimal.

Cash operating costs per unit under test are significantly lower with IFDIS than conventional scanning continuity test sets. MLPRF Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) has improved by over 300%.

CASE STUDY #2

F/A-18 Generator Convertor Unit (GCU) Weapon Replaceable Assembly (WRA)

  • Second highest degrader in the NAVAIR inventory

  • High No Fault Found (NFF) rate

  • High Mission Incapable (MICAP) rate

  • No means or equipment to detect intermittence or reduce NFF

Results from IFDIS testing: 

  • All GCUs tested were previously considered Ready for Install (RFI) after comprehensive testing by the repair depot

  • 80% of the GCUs tested had one or more intermittent circuit that went undetected using conventional ATE

 

CASE STUDY #3

EA-6B AN/AIC-45, Intercommunication System, Weapon Replaceable Assembly (WRA)

  • High No Fault Found (NFF) rate

  • High Mission Incapable (MICAP) rate

  • No means or equipment capable of detecting intermittent / NFF

Results from IFDIS testing: 

  • 71% of the AIC-45s tested had one or more intermittent circuit that went undetected using conventional ATE 

 

CASE STUDY #4

F-16 AN/APG-68 Radar System Antenna Azimuth Elevation (AZ/EL) Shop Replaceable Unit (SRU)

  • Grounding F-16s

  • Current testing methods and equipment unable to identify defects

  • Non-reparable item

  • Purchase price $1,600.00each

  • IFDIS testing required for GO / NO GO testing

Results from IFDIS testing:

  • 95 AZ/EL SRU ribbon cables IFDIS tested:

  • 76% tested bad and given a NO/GO for use on F-16 aircraft

  • IFDIS is effectively identifying good and bad cables so that good cables are not unnecessarily discarded, and bad cables are not put into F-16 aircraft.

  • IFDIS testing of AZ/EL ribbon cables saved the U.S. Air Force over $35,000.00 in just six weeks

CASE STUDY #5

F-16 AN/APG-68 Radar System Antenna 

  • High MICAP rates

  • Conventional ATE unable to diagnose intermittent / NFF issues, improve reliability or lower MICAP rates

  • IFDIS testing quickly identified electronic defects and intermittent faults